Copyright v. Trademark – What’s the Difference?

Trademarks and copyrights may be the most misused business terms. Trademarks and Copyrights are both forms of intellectual property that protect different asset types. It’s easy to see the confusion, but it is important to know the difference. Both applications cost money, and if you file the wrong application, you’re wasting precious money.


A copyright is a form of intellectual property that protects original creative works fixed in a tangible medium. These creative works include web content, books, movies, songs, photos, artistic creations (graphic designs), and more. It is important to note that ideas are not coprightable. 

A copyright registration can vary in length. Generally, a copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. 

It is true that you do not have to register your work in order to have copyright protection. However, you need a registration in order to sue. If you think you’ll never sue someone, you also need a registration for most people to take you seriously when sending a cease and desist letter. 

A copyright application is $55 and can be filed at


Trademarks are exclusively for branding purposes. Anything that identifies a brand can be trademarked: business name, logo, or slogan. Common or everyday phrases are not eligible for trademark protection. This is a common misconception, but it’s an important point to be aware of. Businesses have slipped through the cracks by having common phrases registered, but they will soon find out that their money has gone to waste. The trademark office is aware of trademarks slipping through the cracks, and the trademark office is beginning to crack down and cancel those marks.  

A trademark registration does not expire after a set number of years. A trademark registration exists as long as the mark is in use. 

As with copyrights, you automatically have trademark protection. But again, you will want a federal registration in order to have the maximum protection.

A trademark application is $225 and can be filed at



Although trademarks and copyrights are both a form of intellectual property, copyrights protect creative works and trademarks protect a company’s branding. Make sure you know what you’re wanting to file before wasting money on an application.

Don’t forget to join the private Facebook Group.

Other Related Episodes

Episode 224 Why the Fear of Failure is Fake

I think that many people believe that their fear of failure is what is holding them back from accomplishing their dreams. But by not going after your dream you are also failing. Digging into the root of your fear can allow you to see what is really holding you back from living the life you dream of and I am all about everyone Dreaming Bigger!

Episode 223 Helping Women Build Profitable Businesses with Amy Kiefer

When Amy had her first child she realized that women weren’t getting the support that they needed in early motherhood. She and her sister set out to fill this gap and created Expecting and Empowered. Their program was built to help women thrive through pregnancy and postpartum. That was the beginning. Since then she has co-created the “Herself Podcast” and most recently Pursuing her Purpose which helps women build profit through online businesses.

Episode 222 Legal Protection for Influencers

Legal protection specifically for an Influencer, content creator or UGC creator. Whether you are making money or not, if that is your intent, you should always take the time to make sure that you and your content is protected. There is nothing more important to protecting the long term success of you and your brand.